DESPITE the Eastern Cape’s failure once again to achieve a matric pass-rate target of 70%, and the province recording the lowest pass rate in the country, Education MEC Mandla Makupula patted himself and his department on the back for the improvement in the quality of passes.
Makupula beamed as he announced the province’s 2014 matric results in East London yesterday, saying the excellent performance of three Eastern Cape pupils – who were among the country’s top achievers – made him feel like a king, even though the province had again come bottom of the class.
The Port Elizabeth district, which was tops in the province in 2013, slipped down the performance rankings to fifth in 2014.
It was overtaken by best performer Cradock, followed by Uitenhage, Qumbu and East London.
Makupula said the quality of passes – as evidenced by Muir College’s Lyle Ressouw, Selborne College’s Rohin Jain and St James Secondary’s Luvo Luzipho – was something the province could be extremely proud of. “At the [Basic Education] minister’s [Angie Motshekga’s] results announcement on Monday night, I started feeling like a peasant when she announced the provincial results in ascending order,” he said.
“When the boys’ achievements were highlighted, I went from peasant to king. Even the Gauteng MEC [Panyaza Lesufi] congratulated me, saying that ‘I may have been the top performing province, but what is your secret?’
“Ha! We may be numbered last, but we produced quality …
“As much as we are bottom- ranked, we are making a contribution in terms of giving the country a lot of bachelor passes, however modest the contribution may be.”
The Eastern Cape recorded a marginally improved pass rate of 65.4%, up by 0.5 percentage points, with a higher percentage of pupils passing with entry to university for a degree or diploma.
Of the 90670 pupils who wrote the exams, 13435 achieved a bachelor pass (20.1%), 18339 a diploma pass (27.4%) and 11958 (17.9%) passed with a higher certificate.
– Zandile Mbabela
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